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Who's watching the watcher....

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  • Who's watching the watcher....

    I was just curious about some of the stuff I've been reading on surveillance. OK, I realize that you can not use info derived from wire-tap, etc in court unless taps were authorized by court order.

    OK, is there anything that stops LEO, mostly feds I guess, from eaves-dropping to gain information that is not going to be used in a court of law?

    Also, can that info obtained without a court ordered tap or surveillance be used to obtain a court ordered tap or surveillance?

    I was flipping through surveillance links and it occured to me that a lot of the equipment out there is very very invasive. Cell phones can be listened to from afar and locations can be pin pointed...home phones can be turned into listening devices, etc etc....

    I guess this stuff is fine for CIA and national security, but is there a check safe to keep average LEO from using it as they wish for whatever they wish?

    Just curious. Thanks.

  • #2
    OK, is there anything that stops LEO, mostly feds I guess, from eaves-dropping to gain information that is not going to be used in a court of law?

    Most LEO's have better things to do with their time than to eaves-drop on offenders without the chance that the information gathered can be used in a court of law.

    Also, can that info obtained without a court ordered tap or surveillance be used to obtain a court ordered tap or surveillance?

    Poison fruit from a poison tree. If evidence is gathered by law enforcement cannot be used in court, than it taints anything an officer collects using that information. Example: if I beat the hell out of you till you give up your dealer and use that statement to arrest the dealer, that dealer will walk. Lucky dealer.

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    • #3
      On Paper is right on.... the only thing I will add is that if someone (cop, hairdresser, etc.) is bent on doing something illegal they will do it regardless.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bob:
        OK, is there anything that stops LEO, mostly feds I guess, from eaves-dropping to gain information that is not going to be used in a court of law?
        It's called the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

        Also, can that info obtained without a court ordered tap or surveillance be used to obtain a court ordered tap or surveillance?
        No. If any information or evidence was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, anything that info or evidence leads to further in the investigation will also be suppressed.

        Not all forms of surveillance require a court order. If it's something that would violate your "reasonable expectation of privacy", such as planting bugs on your phone line, listening devices in your home or car, or software that would allow me to view your e-mail, that would require a court order.

        But sitting on a public street watching who goes in/out of your home or business, or following you through areas intended for public use, do not require a court order.

        I was flipping through surveillance links and it occured to me that a lot of the equipment out there is very very invasive. Cell phones can be listened to from afar and locations can be pin pointed...home phones can be turned into listening devices, etc etc...
        The Fourth Amendment notwithstanding, LEO's simply do not have the time to be randomly monitoring citizens. It's time-consuming enough to monitor just one suspect using only legally-authorized means.

        I guess this stuff is fine for CIA and national security, but is there a check safe to keep average LEO from using it as they wish for whatever they wish?
        The court system, and ultimately the US Supreme Court, decides whether or not a particular search/seizure was done in accordance with the Fourth Amendment.

        If the act was in violation of search/seizure laws, not only will the info/evidence obtained be suppressed, but the agency involved could also be sued.

        [ 10-23-2001: Message edited by: Sig220Man ]

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        • #5
          Bob, it sure seems that you have a negative view towards police officers and/or think that police officers are bad.

          Mike
          The only thing evil needs to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.

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          • #6
            Only because we are watching him! Shhhhh!
            -Sparky

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            • #7
              Bob:

              I've worked one court authorized wire tap in my career (17 years). It was such a pain in the *** to set up and monitor and soooooooo boring to work (but I was making time and a half). I can guarantee you, the odds of somebody doing this on there own time for fun or work are next to impossible.

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              • #8
                LOOK!! I was just asking...if it makes you nervous...I will not ask conrtoversial (here) questions.

                Believe it or not, a lot of people in the US are afraid their right to privacy will erode as new laws in Congress are passed .....

                Sorry.

                I think I know just as much about law than some of you do, so please, do not push me out just because I ask a simple question..

                [ 10-24-2001: Message edited by: bob ]

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                • #9
                  I don't see anyone being "nervous" here, bob.

                  You have gotten a lot of good answers to your question.

                  Perhaps it is you who are being defensive. Like RFD, I am also sensing a undercurrent of negativity to your posts.

                  [ 10-24-2001: Message edited by: blondie72 ]
                  [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.

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                  • #10
                    The only nervous person I see around here is you, bob. You seem obsessed with the Government taking away your Rights(which shouldn't happen since you're Swiss)or harming you. You got several rational and reasonable answers to your question.

                    I think I know just as much about law than some of you do...
                    Reallllllly . So, then, why did you have ask us peons about wiretap and surveillance issues? Shouldn't we be asking you?

                    ...so please, do not push me out just because I ask a simple question..
                    No one's pushing you out. If you choose to go, it's your choice. We're simply pointing out fallacies in your statements about the US Government and other issues.

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                    • #11
                      Bob,

                      I am one of those Americans that is deeply concerned about our rights being eroded. I think you are correct, that more and more laws are being passed that attack our constitution. In the aftermath of the 9-11 tragety, some are even calling for a national ID that we would have to use to travel even domestically. I of course am opposed to that.

                      However, I think the manner in which you have presented yourself lends one to question your motives.

                      Regards,

                      Retired
                      Retired

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you refer back to my questions....you would see that I was trying to surmize the extent to which our rights are violated on a daily basis.....

                        I know what the laws are...I just am worried they are frequently stepped around.

                        Just putting out a feeler, that is all. Sorry.

                        Laws are interpreted differently all across the country...that is why the US Supreme court is always open. Maybe procedurs in different LEO offices allow for different interpretations of our laws.....

                        relax. I am not a threat,,,just a guy who asked a question.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bob:
                          relax. I am not a threat,,,just a guy who asked a question.
                          6P1 (retired)

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                          • #14
                            bob said: "I think I know just as much about law than some of you do...

                            But then you say things like "the Supreme Court is always open", and "different agencies interpret the law in different ways", and other general statements that betray the fact that you DON'T know much about the law OR about law enforcement.

                            There'r nothing wrong with NOT knowing, and it is GOOD that you would ask. BUT...

                            You don't ask and then accept answers for what they are...you then argue with them and get DEFENSIVE about them.

                            I surmise that you are under SEVERAL false impressions about the law and law enforcement. This isprobably due to where you have been getting your information up until now.

                            ALOT of folks here have told you, with no reason to lie, that "wire-taps" are an EXTREME PITA, with LOTS of red tape, and LOTS of judicial oversite.

                            Your general question, "Who is watching the watcher?" can be answered this way..."FREAKIN' EVERYBODY!!"

                            We answer to our bosses and supervisors who answer to the politicians. We answer to the courts; misdemeanor, felony, appeals, state supreme, federal court, fed court of appeals, and fed Supreme Court. We are bound, just like you, by current local, state, and federal law which is all interpreted according to previous case law and judicial interpretations. We also have to worry about personal and departmental liability in local and federal civil courts. To guide us in that area the city attorneys, county attorneys, state attorneys, and our own PRIVATE attorneys. Concerning criminal prosecutions there are also local, state, and federal prosecutors.

                            Add on to this that the local politicians and "rights leaders" love to get three seconds of video tape and make every cop in the world look like a nazi to incite riots toward their own political gain..and every two-bit liberal journalist just loves to find the slightest bit of material that has even the remotest possibility to be dirt and air it prime time under a magnifying glass but they won't touch stories about when cops do a GOOD job.

                            Then there are the "citizen review boards" which are a bunch of people who know nothing about the law or law enforcement but who get to officially armchair quarterback over a period of weeks or months a decison which we made having less information and in a split second.

                            And then you've got joe blow citizen who has seen every order of Starsky and Hutch and is, therefor, an expert on modern day law enforcement...from the street to forensic services...he is prepared at any time to walk into court and be certified as an expert witness. He saw a whole one-hour show about this n Dateline AND he stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

                            His VAST amount of knowledge and expertise gained from the television and various web sites gives him MUCH more experience than any of us have EVER gathered in working in the profession. And he will second guess our EVERY MOVE. And if, in his expert opinion, we are not Jesus F*%^&ng Christ with a Badge, he will call in a complaint about our performance to our supervisor who got his job more due to his ability to kiss *** than any professional profeciency.

                            Mr. Citizen will also call the mayor's office AND write the local newspaper. Of course, when WE call the mayor's office, we get written up for going outside our chain of command. If WE write a letter to the editor, we get written up for conduct unbecoming an officer.

                            Mr. Citizen is such an expert that in the middle of placing a cobative suspect under arrest, he will walk up to us and ask us 'why' we 'have' to do that. Having no experience other than that garnered from old Cagney and Lacey re-runs, Mr. Citizen will complain that it took THREE officers to arrest ONE person and that just looked BAD! Nevermind the fact that Mr. Citizen has never had to handcuff anybody that didn't want to be.

                            And then there is Mr. Citizen the Jurist who thinks that since he watches CSPAN, he is now a legal expert and he has the neccessary skills to tell us what is or is not a constitutional law. We love this guy. He is a great help! The Supreme Court and the lttany of other attorneys enumerated above are of little help to us. What we REALLY need is some pansy with no formal legal education to sort things out for us.

                            So to get back to your question, bob, a simpler answer would be WHO ISN'T WATCHING US??
                            -Sparky

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                            • #15
                              Excellent answer, Sparky!
                              [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.

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